Rep. Chris Collins said Friday that not only should Donald Trump not release his taxes — no politician should have to do so.
“I’ve always said he shouldn’t report his taxes. I don’t think any elected official should,” the New York Republican told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.”
Ongoing concerns about conflict of interest between the Trump Administration and Trump-related businesses are unnecessary, he said. The most recen example comes after White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway told Americans in a live TV interview to buy Ivanka Trump’s clothes.
“She was smiling. She was laughing. She was speaking about herself,” Collins said about Conway’s interview. “Somebody is making a mountain out of a mole hill here. I’d say get a life.”
“I’m just amazed that others seem to be trying to roll out the legal issues,” he added.
The Congressman later told CNN that elected officials should not have to release their tax returns because the personal financial disclosure lawmakers provide is sufficient.
“It’s unnecessary for elected officials to release their taxes because they are already required by law to submit a personal financial disclosure,” he said. “This comprehensive financial document lists finances, liabilities owed, income earned, all purchases and sales of assets including stocks and bonds, interest received, capital gains, and all positions held in any organizations.”
“The personal financial disclosure goes above and beyond the details that would be obtained in any tax return,” Collins added.
Conway apologized to Trump Thursday after her comments led some lawmakers to call for an investigation into whether she violated federal laws. according to a senior administration official.
Collins, the Administration’s Congressional liaison, told “New Day” concerns about the White House and business come from a place of animus and said Trump has been as transparent as required.
“I don’t see the pattern,” Collins said. “It fuels suspicion by those who don’t like Donald Trump.”